Politics

Politics
11:44 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Kentucky Metro Leaders to Draft Legislation for Local Option Sales Tax

Mayor Greg Fischer
Credit Louisville Metro Government

FRANKFORT — Though the effort for a local option sales tax lacks support from principals in the General Assembly, Mayor Greg Fischer and other leaders from Kentucky's largest communities still went to Frankfort on Tuesday to push for a constitutional amendment.

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Politics
5:54 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

H&R Block: Louisville 7th Most Taxed City in America

Credit hrblock.com

H&R Block has released a graph showing what many have said for years, Louisville is one of most tax burdened cities in the country.

The findings are based on a study conducted by the chief financial officer of Washington, D.C.

That reported was touted by Councilman Ken Fleming, R-7, as a reason for Mayor Greg Fischer's administration to think twice about pushing a local option sales tax.

H&R shows that a hypothetical family of three with an annual income of $50,000 pays an estimated $6,346 in taxes annually.

That means Louisville residents carry a 12.7 percent tax burden, ahead of Boston, Massachusetts at 12.3 percent and just behind Chicago, Illinois at 12.8 percent.

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Politics
4:29 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Paul's Tea Party State of the Union Rebuttal Will Focus on Federal Debt

Rand Paul
Credit U.S. Senate

U.S. Sen.Rand Paul will be one of two GOP senators providing a rebuttal to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Paul is providing the tea party response to the annual address, while U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida will provide the Republican Party's official response.

Both senators are considered potential presidential candidates in 2016. While they are hitting the national stage at the same time, Paul says he's not sure whether that makes both he and Rubio the new faces of the GOP.

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Politics
4:04 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

"Right to Hunt" Measure Clears Indiana Senate

Indiana voters would decide in next year's election whether to add the right to hunt, fish and farm to the state constitution under a proposal approved by state senators.

The Indiana Senate voted 38-10 today  in favor of the proposed amendment. It would go before voters in the 2014 general election if the House also approves the proposal.

Indiana would join 17 other states, including Kentucky, with similar constitutional protections for hunting and fishing. Supporters say the measures are needed because those activities are threatened by animal-rights activists.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Rand Paul: Court Oversight in Drone Attacks Needed

Credit Public Domain

Courts should decide whether the U.S. should use drone attacks on American citizens who are abroad and accused of committing crimes against the nation, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said.

Paul told Kentucky Public Radio on Monday that he would prefer a judge or jury make those decisions, as they do with crimes committed inside the U.S.

"We still, even for bad people, give them a trial and a jury to make sure we get the guilty people and not kill an innocent person," he said.

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Politics
2:22 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Hemp Bill Sails Through Kentucky Senate Agriculture Committee

James Comer
Credit File photo

FRANKFORT — After testimony from a bevy of high-level supporters, the state Senate agriculture committee unanimously approved Monday a bill that would establish oversight for Kentucky  industrial hemp farmer if hemp were made legal federally.

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Politics
8:30 am
Mon February 11, 2013

State Lawmaker: City Officials Shouldn't Use Taxpayer Dollars in Ethics Defense

State Rep. Larry Clark, D-Louisville
Credit keeplarryclark.com

State Representative Larry Clark, D-Louisville, has introduced a bill that would require city officials charged with an ethics violation to pay for their own attorneys.

Under the current system, Metro officials and employees can request a lawyer paid for by the city to defend them against an ethics charge. The new legislation would prohibit taxpayer dollars from being used in those cases.

Clark says citizens should not be funding the defense of ethics charges against local officials accused of violating the public trust.

"First and foremost, I don’t think it’s fair for the taxpayers to have to pay for a lawyer for those of us in public service. I think we should be held at a higher standard," he says.

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Politics
10:45 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Karl Rove Promises More Ashley Judd Attack Ads

Republican strategist Karl Rove is promising more attack ads targeting actress Ashley Judd.

Judd is flirting with a bid against Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who is up for re-election in 2014.

In a brutal online ad, American Crossroad tagged the actress-activist as an out-of-touch Hollywood liberal, and criticized her for living in Tennessee. Rove is the super PAC's founder, and he says there's plenty more to come.

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Politics
6:00 am
Sun February 10, 2013

Stumbo, Stivers Oppose Local Option Sales Tax; Fischer Undeterred

Greg Fischer
Credit Louisville Metro Government

Kentucky's top two legislative leaders are throwing cold water on a proposal to create a local option sales tax for city and county governments.

The plan would give local voters the ability to decide whether to fund special projects through a temporary increase to the state sales tax. It would typically be used for infrastructure, supporters say, but could also be applied to long-term investments.

Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo, however, says cities already have alternatives for such projects.

"There's a lot of options that they have, that they haven't used for local option taxes if they want to utilize them. So I don't necessarily favor it," he says.

The measure is heavily supported by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, both Democrats. 

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Politics
10:30 pm
Sat February 9, 2013

Noise and Notes: Kentucky State President Mary Evans Sias on Historically Black Colleges' Challenges

Dr. Mary Evans Sias

Kentucky State University President Mary Evans Sias is warning the 127-year-old institution faces serious challenges, and will have to change to survive.

Located in the bosom of the commonwealth’s capital, K-State is a historically black college with a proud tradition that counts the late Urban League President Whitney Young among its alumni.

As of late K-State has seen a significant drop in enrollment as it has weathered state budget cuts and the national recession.

As Sias writes:

As we expected, in May of 2012, our graduation rate hit a low of 14 percent, down substantially from 2003. That enrollment decline resulted in a $4.8 million loss of revenue for the year.

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